AS A FATHER I understand the need for recognition - it's great to be thanked for the effort us dads expend on behalf of our families. So this Father's Day I though I'd make some suggestions for thoughtful ways to recognize the dads in your life.
Let's put aside the usual coffee mugs, ties and sports jerseys for a moment (unless dad really likes that stuff, of course) and discuss a different kind of present - a meaningful gift that shows that you are thinking about his interests and what he enjoys is easier to give than you might think. In our home we attempt to give gifts of experience as opposed to giving stuff. Here is a list of some gifts I have received for past Father’s Days or wish to receive for Father’s Days of the future. My hope is that it may spark some imagination in how you recognize your father on this day and remaining days until the next Father’s Day.
1. Make something. As I type this post I can see a handmade card with my son’s face smiling at me. This was a recognition that was given to me two years ago and still makes me feel good today.
2. Give dad a break. I know that I never have enough time to do the things that I want to do. Give your dad some time to fish his favorite stream, take a run, or go and hike with buddies he rarely sees - not necessarily on Father's Day, but at a later date.
Hangin' with some dad friends
3. Give dad some of your time. Most dads have a weekly and one-time project lists. Offer to do some of these projects for him.
4. Ask dad what he wants for dinner. Our family menu seems to revolve around two people under the age of five. I am grateful, however, that everyone in my home seems to appreciate ribs, chicken wings and steak so I often get to enjoy my favorite meals. Your father may not be so lucky.
5. Take dad out to lunch. This is what I am doing for my father this year. My father rarely eats out and much of our time spent together is focused on his grandchildren and projects that I need help with. One-on-one time is a luxury and a gift.
5.5 Let dad ride in the wheely chair...
6. Send dad flowers. Yes, really. Some father’s may cringe at the idea of having a bouquet of flowers on their workbench at their workplace but you know your dad and if this would be a good idea. I enjoy receiving flowers and you may be surprised how many fathers would enjoy this too.
7. Give dad updated, framed photos. My father recently moved into a new work space. Within the first weeks I took him framed photos of his grandchildren and he beamed with pride. Updated photographs are always appreciated by fathers.
8. Recognize dad's hobby. Chances are your father has at least one favorite pasttime, so buy him something for his hobby. For a past Father’s Day I received an ID bracelet for when I go running. I wear it almost every run and I am reminded how much my family cares about me.
9. Give dad a date with mom. I need to spend more time with my partner. Our children are not old enough now to know this but when they are I would be very grateful for a date with my partner as a Father’s Day gift.
Yes, any gift and a card to recognize your father will be accepted and appreciated. Recognizing your father in unique ways or giving a thoughtful gift will truly show how much you appreciate and value him.
Happy Father’s Day fellow dads!